Semi Prude

Several years ago I attended a retreat at some nearby hot springs.

I signed up for the retreat AS I WAS DRIVING THERE, so I never got a chance to read the emailed instructions they sent me detailing what the weekend was about.

We make it through ALL OF FRIDAY NIGHT, sleep in community, and then get up for Saturday’s activities.

Somewhere around noon, the instructors mention that it’s “Clothing Optional” time and everyone starts to strip.

They ask, “Did anyone NOT know this retreat was clothing optional?”

I raise my hand.

I mean, I knew that the hot tubs were clothing optional, but the WHOLE RETREAT?!

This I did not know.

So I swallowed VERY HARD, TOOK A DEEP BREATH, and I STRIPPED.

Yes, I did.

When in Rome, you know.

And as it turned out, it wasn’t that bad.

We, as Americans, have far too prudish an attitude about nudity than other countries.

I made it through my naked weekend just fine.

But it’s been years since I did a naked retreat and I must admit, the idea of doing it again kinda scares me.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because I’m going to a party which is clothing optional and I will of course be invited to socialize in the nude.

In some way, being naked is wonderful because it removes all the barriers we put up to keep people at a distance from us.

There’s lots of connection when you see the vulnerable side of people.

But in other ways, being naked is awful because it removes all the barriers we put up to keep people at a distance.

And that provides safety.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but if I had to guess, I say I’ll go in the hot tub naked but I will socialize with my clothes on.

This American is only SEMI-PRUDISH!

YOLO

Finally!

I’m getting to work on a costume that ISN’T RELATED TO BURNING MAN.

I’m so excited!

It’s for the Beerhound group I’m a part of.

They’re doing a Sazerac Safari!

And my favorite cocktail?

SAZERAC!

And the theme???

You guessed it!

SAFARI!

I actually have nothing even REMOTELY safari-esque with the exception of some khaki cropped pants and an olive green jacket.

But I wanted A DRESS.

A safari dress.

With lots of pockets and a trim little belt.

And lo and behold, I FOUND IT!

Granted, I found a few dresses that were more suitable, but overall I’m pleased with this dress.

I have a nice belt to go with it.

And I bought a pith helmet, khaki boots and some accessories:

Just to be cheeky and to FULLY EMBRACE THE THEME.

Because I considered a nice, floppy, wide-brimmed hat instead, which I would get WAY MORE USE OUT OF.

But you know, YOLO!

In dust we trust

This one time, at Burning Man, I rode the Partysmail during an epic dust storm to the man to watch him burn.

It was Saturday night, and instead of feeling happy and excited, I was pissy and irritated.

Me and dust storms DO NOT GET ALONG.

Also?

It was cold.

Very cold.

I was wearing rainbow velour pants and my neon green faux fur long jacket.

And I was still cold.

I took out my camera and shot a few seconds worth of the dust storm.

Later on, I looked at the footage and realized it reminded me of something out of a Star Wars movie on desolated Tatooine, with a collection of oddballs and assorted mutant vehicles all trying to weather the dust storm.

When people ask to see photos and video of my experiences at Burning Man sure, I show them the picture of a hot blonde chick in a white under-the-bust corset, toe shoes, and NOTHING ELSE.

She was part of my 2015 burn.

But I also show them the video of the dust storm.

Not just to warn them of what may lay ahead. . .

. . .but to remind myself that I’m actually one pretty tough chick myself.

I may not stumble around on toe shoes in nothing but a corset, but I can weather a freezing cold dust storm.

Honestly, I’ve been to a few burns now, but that experience of getting disoriented in a dust storm, of watching people materialize and dematerialize in the dust, sitting hunkered down on a mutant vehicle with my goggles and mask on, that experience made me more of a burner than any of my previous burns ever did.

How bow dat?

Not surprisingly, I am one of those women who have experimented with Botox.

My foray into nonsurgical skin enhancement started when I turned 30.

I had sun damage and I wanted to get rid of it.

So I got a series of six fotofacials (to the tune of about $2,500) as a 30th birthday present to myself.

The results were GREAT!

Gone were those telltale California brown spots.

My skin was tighter, smoother, more refined, with less redness and wrinkles.

A few years after that, I noticed a little wrinkle starting to develop on my forehead.

So I took a DEEP BREATH and I got it treated with Botox.

And whaddya know, it worked!

Wrinkle erased.

It’s now been nearly 15 years since I started with facial enhancers like Botox and fotofacials.

Honestly, I need an update but I haven’t had the time to research the new technology that’s out there – DermPen and Spectra, to name a few.

And I’m not going to do anything to my face that’s named after a Bond movie without checking into it first.

Lately, I’ve been wondering about lip enhancement.

Because I have nice full lips, but when I smile my upper lip thins out.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have lips like a lipstick model?

All full and pillowy?

Well, I went online and checked that out and NOPE!

The whole idea of needles in my lips is REALLY HINKY!

Not gonna do it!

I guess I’ll just have to pout to show off my lips.

Or maybe, just maybe, I should start wearing LIPSTICK.

How bow dat?

Daddy

So I have this friend.

We’ll call him Hank.

And Hank is a very attractive man in his late 50s.

And we’re Facebook friends.

Yesterday, Hank sends me a video of him with a YOUNG girl, post “date,” with her giggling and jiggling her breasts while he sort of stands there awe struck.

WTF?! was my first reaction.

I shot off a quick response:

I hope you got a permission slip from her mother before you took her out!

Naturally, I want to look out for my friend and make sure he doesn’t get popped for statutory rape.

Honestly, I was a little afraid for him.

Turns out the girl is twenty two, so my fear was unfounded but I was a little stymied by the whole scenario.

When I was 22, I was having sex with 28 year old men.

Not 50-somethings.

Actually, when I was 22, I was a newlywed with a 28 year old husband and a half a million dollar mortgage.

I’ve always been precocious like that.

So forgive me if I seem confused but aren’t there people in her own age group who will sleep with her?

My mind instantly filled in the blank.

That thing we all want to say but aren’t.

The pink elephant in the room no one is talking about:

Daddy issues.

And Hank makes a SUPERLATIVE Daddy.

Giving my bed it’s own bed

Ok, this I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

Why is it that when I am camping, sleeping on an air mattress is NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP ME WARM?

WHY?!

You’d think ALL THAT AIR would be insulation enough.

You’d think, but you’d be WRONG!

Because the ground SUCKS all the heat out of the air in the air mattress which then SUCKS ALL THE HEAT OUT OF YOU.

And you spend an entire weekend shivering in bed, only sleeping when completely exhausted, wondering if you need to put on another pair of socks.

I am not a thermal physicist.

Nor am I an expert backpacker who knows all about sleeping bag ratings, insulation types, and how to stay warm in winter weather.

All I know is I haul a bed out there.

I haul in back in.

I freeze every time.

My bed is made up of an 18 inch thick air mattress, a fitted sheet, and a very stylish (if I do say so myself) comforter with matching pillows (modeled here by The Swede).

I finally gave in and bought a double size sleeping mat on Amazon to layer UNDER my air mattress.

That’s right.

MY BED IS GETTING ITS OWN BED!

Don’t think this doesn’t piss me off.

Why should I spend another $60 buying a mat so that my air mattress can stay warm?!

So that I can fucking stay warm!

That’s why.

I could have danced all night

A volunteer organization I have worked with in the past is holding a Derby Fundraiser, complete with bourbon tasting.

Yum!

Now, I am not one to skip the opportunity to dress up and wear a fancy hat.

No siree!

Nor am I the type to skip a little bourbon tasting.

I love me some Maker’s Mark!

But since I’m a little nutty, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to combine cosplay AND derby?”

Check out this $995 custom gown on etsy. . .

And two custom hats:

Now, I’m NOT saying I’m going.

Seriously, WHO would I take as a date?

But I am saying, IF I went, then I’d probably cosplay Eliza Doolittle.

Perfect rags to riches story.

Of course, wearing turtleneck longsleeve dresses is not my forte.

Why hide my assets under layers of lace and ribbon?

Still, it might be fun to adopt a British accent (I’m actually APPALLING at accents), and pretend to be a lady of leisure who sips bourbon and raises money for charities.

Two out of three ain’t bad!

No place like HOME

Ah, my 2017 burn. . .

Fucking HOT, it was!

It was in the 100s during the day and in the 90s at night.

All those faux fur jackets I brought were a total waste of space.

Recently, Gigapan released their aerial map of Burning Man 2017 by Todd Huffman, some sort of amazing aerial photographer.

And this is what we looked like:

Kinda brown, huh?

A little bit dusty, no?

Yeah, I thought so too, but then I zoomed in on Tejas’ Motorbeast where I stayed at 6:30 and F.

See that yellow circle?

That’s the Motorbeast, my home at HOME.

And see that AQUA CIRCLE?

That’s my friendly neighborhood dive bar, run by a bunch of outstanding scallywags and mischief makers.

I seriously believe one of them blows things up.

For a living!

So there you have it – one of the reasons why I love Burning Man so much.

I am stumbling distance (and I DID STUMBLE) from the bar to my bed.

If you look REALLY close, you can see my favorite ride along pleasure – the pink Partysnail – parked in the middle of the bottom of the frame.

I took a snooze coming back from the burn with two warm bodies in the plush pink bed of that truck.

Ah!

The memories!

Holy shit! Toilet paper!

I posted “Shock and Awe” last Friday to capture my excitement that The Swede is coming to Burning Man.

Woooooooooo Hooooooooo!

How very American of me to say that.

But I don’t care, I’m happy.

I would literally scream that out loud, riding on the back of a horse, wearing a cowboy hat and a pair of boots, waving my hands in the air.

I CAN’T WAIT to see the playa all fresh and new through The Swede’s eyes.

I’ve gotten some good advice from burners who read this blog, but by far THE BEST ADVICE I got came from Wristy’s response to “Shock and Awe.”

He advised me that when he brings burgins (Burning Man virgins) to Burning Man, he puts together a “Burner in a Box” kit for his newbie.

It’s got all sorts of goodies in it that he thinks will be useful for his burgin – travel size hand sanitizer, a light on a lanyard (for nighttime porto trips), chapstick with SPF, nasal spray, you name it, it goes in there.

What a BRILLIANT idea!

Of course, I have a lot of these supplies already – headlamp, hand sanitizer, extra roll of luxurious 1-ply toilet paper. . .

I suspect that with The Swede and I, something gets lost in translation, but I do think he will enjoy (perhaps not yet understand why he was given them) the items I select for him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think he’d react to a gifted roll of 1-ply toilet paper the same way I would.

Me: Hold shit! Toilet paper!

The Swede: Holy shit! Toilet paper?

This is why I sent him my handy dandy first timers guide which directs him to all the resources he will need to learn about Burning Man as best he can BEFORE he goes there.

I’ve been holding off for a little bit because I remember how OVERWHELMED I felt when I was researching Burning Man for the first time.

Like a kid with one stick of jerky and a pack of 12 hungry dogs.

How do you make it all work?

The answer is, ME.

Because one way or another, I was able to take the impossible and make it possible (with a little help from my friends).

So The Swede is in good hands.

This ain’t no BDSM convention

So I’ve come up with what I think is a GREAT idea to dress up the “Spanking Dome” at unSCruz.

The dome is no more than a red 10 foot by 10 foot EZ Up canopy with three walls.

The walls will block off the consentual adult activities from the street so they can’t be seen.

Basically, spankings.

So how do you decorate an EZ Up so that it’s, well, APPROPRIATELY festive enough for spankings?

I happen to have two 10 foot curtains of lights which I think will make a fabulous backdrop for the spankings.

Not only are they moody, they also will provide much needed light to the dome.

So our spankers can see who they’re spanking, so to speak.

But curtains of Christmas lights don’t exactly scream “Spank Me” so I bought off Amazon four panels of sheer black curtains (to the tune of $3.95 a pair) to hang OVER the curtains of light to add a little mysterious ambiance to the dome.

Throw a black tablecloth over a card table to hold spanking implements, and call it a day.

I mean ideally, I’d have candles and a decadent chandelier hanging from the center of the dome, but I’m making do with what I’ve got – a candelabra and some red candles.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

I mean, it’s no dungeon, but this ain’t no BDSM convention.